For a lot of you, growing a garden is, and has been an extension of your life. I know as far back as I can remember, my grandfather ALWAYS had a garden. When speaking of this it takes me back to how much I enjoyed eating with Grannie and Granddaddy. Good gracious, those two could put some good groceries on the table.
Granddaddy made the best pork and rice I’ve ever tasted, and my mother still talks about it from time to time. No one ever learned just how he made it, and even Grannie used to tell us after Granddaddy’s passing, that he never let her in on it either.
So, it’s lost forever, and what a shame. Quickly, Grannie Margaret’s best dish…macaroni and cheese, and boy, was it good. She most always had black-eyed peas with this, and man, I’d just pile those peas over her mac and cheese, and it was always so good.
There’s something about that pot liquor off those peas that’s so good anyway, but that juice mixed in with the melted cheeses in the macaroni was absolutely delicious. Ah, I can taste it now!
My Dad always had a garden. Tomatoes were his favorite to grow and eat, and I gotta say that they’re high on our list of vegetables too. When it came to his peas, shoot, he didn’t plant em, he just scattered them all over at the end of his orange grove, and let them come up as “volunteers.” This worked well for them.
So Deb and I both grew up around gardening. Her Daddy was a farmer as well, and they raised most all they ate growing up…even their meat.
In a confession to you guys, for the longest time Deb and I didn’t raise a garden, except for a few occasions. We were busy with the kids, starting a business, and this kept us both tied up basically from daylight to cain’t!
But looking back, I’m not sure we’d change much of anything. It was tough, hard times, but in the end it was all a rewarding experience, and in hindsight, some of the happiest times we had.
As a youngster I always heard the phrase “the good old days.” Now at the tender, YOUNG age of 55, I too have come to embrace such ideology. Deb says my appreciation for the term “the good old days” is simply because…I’m an old fart!” I tell her, “It takes one to know one!” Her response, “You betcha!” At least she ain’t in denial, huh?
The main thing once again that “spurred our interest” in gardening was probably what got so many other people involved in it again as well…our politicians and their destruction of our economy. There’s no need to blame capitalism, this is a myth.
The real reason is the political ideology rampant in our Country today. They don’t want you to have anything. This is evident if you’d only open your eyes. Many , many understand this, but WAY too many haven’t a clue of the damage being done to our Country, and this being one reason our politicians pull so many of the things they pull. Another is that there are also WAY too many people living in our Country today that despise it…sad but very, very true. But this discussion is for another day…
With many of us gardening again today, we’ve rediscovered the many fruitful reasons as to why we garden. The first is the taste of your vegetables, or fruits. Store bought taste isn’t even close…there’s no comparison.
Second is that YOU control the things you put into or on to your garden. You use pesticides? You see to it they are used by the manufacturer’s recommendations. The same applies to your fertilize routine, or herbicide. I just can’t see anyone not following the directions for any of these then eating their home grown vegetables, can you? This is exactly the point, you grow it, you eat it, so you’re very careful in the way you apply these products.
Another reason is freshness. You know without a doubt the vegetables you produce in your home garden are always fresher than store bought. Once you factor in the area the produce are grown, the washing and packing time spent, and then factor in the time of trucking it to the stores, there’s just no way these vegetables can compete against your own home garden vegetables.
Something else you can factor in is the price. Deb and I are literally being hit with “sticker shock,” at the price of the fruits and vegetables these days if store bought. This trend won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Fuel prices, the increase in the cost to the growers of fertilize, manpower, regulations, water, power, and the EPA, all are increasing the cost of doing business here in the U.S. today. Plus look at the imports we have today resulting from NAFTA.
I can’t go any farther on the topic of gardening without just touching on the imports some. First off, you can’t tell me that the foods being imported today are anywhere near as safe as the product we produce here in the “good ole’ USA!”
Other countries I’m convinced aren’t anywhere near as stringent in their guidelines as these here in the States…period. We’re watched like hawks here by the USDA, and all the other groups advocated by our government. What may be banned here, may be common practice in other countries.
So, by importing these foods, in reality…how safe are they? What has been applied to them? What kind of handling procedures do they undergo prior to shipping? Plus, what type of diseases are we letting in? I’m sure there are many more negatives, and these above are only a few concerns we need to have prior to these imported products being put before our families at meal time?
Just look at some of the problems we’ve already seen from China. Can you say “sheetrock?” How about “leaded paints?” Right down to family pets being made sick or even killed, by tainted dog food? This from China too!
This Country is more than capable of feeding ourselves and much of the world as well. Why take away from our farmers, and ranchers, in order to import from other places? The same thing can be said of textile, manufacturing, right down to supplying much of our own fuel. BUT, for some reason our elected leaders don’t see it this way. Once again…WAY, WAY too much intervention on DC’s part, and this is destroying our ability of taking care of ourselves, and keeping US jobs, here in the US.
Another plus involving you and your home garden, is the enjoyment, and fulfillment of just…growing your own. Deb and I both love watching our garden grow. It’s a feeling of accomplishment seeing it bust out of the ground, grow and bloom, then start bearing. The best is yet to come of course, and that being…eating them!
Honestly, if you really start looking around some you see that gardening comes in a variety of different types any more. The results are the same…more self-sufficiency in your lives involving food, a staple by the way, and the pleasure of eating your home grown produce, plus good quality time spent with your family.
Today there is the old style garden with its long rows, square foot gardening, raised bed gardening, lasagna gardening, hydroponic gardening, greenhouse gardening, and there’s still the old type broadcasting and let the vegetables come up as volunteers…this for my DAD!
Look at the different types, and see which fits your lifestyle or the space you have allotted for your gardening. Many grow their vegetables in containers scattered about their yards. There are so many variations anymore, that the term “different strokes for different folks,” applies to gardens as well.
For you guys that live in subdivisions, this is not a problem. Many different gardening variations will work for you…you only have to see which type you’d like to become involved in.
An example of this is what I read yesterday from a book Deb picked up for me. I guess the more time she has me reading, the less time I have to aggravate her! This works two ways though. Yes, when I’m reading a book, I am outta’ her hair, BUT I love to read anyway.
So once I finish a particular book, I start “hovering around” her again, and shoot, a day or two later, guess what…she’s gone and bought me another book! Talk about a win-win situation!
The book she picked me up is called, “Mini Farming…Self Sufficiency on ¼ acre,” written by Brett L. Markham, and published by Skyhorse Publishing. She found it for me at Books-A-Million. Check it out, I think most will like it.
From just jumping around checking it out, I see that I’m really going to enjoy it, plus there’s a lot of good info. It cements the statement that you don’t have to have a lot of land, but simply to understand the best ways to UTILIZE what land you have.
This statement in the book, I found intriguing…32 square feet of garden space, that’s a 4’x8’ bed people, can yield 100 pounds of carrots. I ‘bout fell out of my chair. So, you see, with this type of production, even living in a subdivision, you can grow A LOT of produce to help offset today’s pricing, and once more, the freshness or taste of store bought doesn’t even compare!
So please, for all of you people who don’t garden, look into it. You may be surprised at how well you “take to it.” It is a very rewarding practice, and in Deb and my case, it “soothes the soul” as well.
Our peas should start coming in, in about a week or two at the most. This will enable us to show the people who haven’t canned before a few of the ins and outs. We love doing it number one, and number two, we so appreciate having the good fresh vegetables our garden produced for us during the winter months when there is no garden. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
One thing we will probably be doing sometime next week is canning about 20 pounds of hamburger, we use ground chuck mainly…bought on sale of course. I really meant to do this, this past week, but time just didn’t work out for us to do so. You’ll see it though, when we do.
I’d like to thank you all again for all your support for Deb in her fight, and that it is so greatly appreciated. Also thanks for just stopping in to see us!!
God Bless you and yours, and Deb says to tell you guys once more, “Be sure to keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!”
Dub and Deb
We’ve had a number of requests as to what Deb is juicing. Here’s a picture of our routine, and one of our juicer…Jack Lalane model (hope I spelled it correctly). It varies slightly from time to time, depending on what’s available through the year. This is why we want to build a greenhouse. Year round fresh vegetables!